First and foremost, happy New Year to all! Enough words have been written about the challenges of 2020. I’d rather take a frying pan to the head than attempt to add something meaningful to that conversation.
However, we weren’t immune either. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was getting ready for a weekend trip on the Thursday before Round 6. I’d posted my Thursday article and was debating rushing through the weekly Spoiler Alert or getting a jump on the road. No matter how hard I tried, I knew in my gut that there was no way those games were going to be played.
To complain about a loss of MLR seems petty. The league remains (a testament to the staying power of this endeavor). We had the chance to really take in other league around the world. Super Rugby Aoteroa was impressive for every match, but only five teams left some variety to be desired. Super Rugby AU wasn’t quite as fun, but the rule experiments were intriguing. The Premiership and Pro14 both offered some good moments. The weirdest test season I’ve ever seen had some shining high points (Argentina topping New Zealand for the first time ever) and some extremely low points (the news out of Argentina a few weeks later, the Autumn Nations, which I’m assured someone watched). We didn’t get an Americas Rugby Championship, but we all had plenty of chances to broaden our rugby horizons.
Hell, I think we all were fighting for any live sports we could find. Taiwanese baseball? Watched it. Korean Baseball Organization? Everyday before work. New Zealand Basketball League? No sports moment with stay with me from the pandemic like watching a slam dunk incite absolutely no reaction from a crowd of kiwis in what looked like a high school gym.
Of course, 2021 isn’t going to be normal. We saw the massive reshuffling it took to get the NFL through the regular season. We certainly won’t be in a place by March where getting through an MLR season without complication is expected. There will be hiccups. Potentially a lot of them. It will be a lot to keep track of, both for you and us. We’ll do what we can to keep you informed on everything happening. It won’t be perfect, but nothing this year will be. If we’re lucky, we’ll all get to see each other at the Final in August.
Thanks for sticking with us. We’re happy to be see you.